MANILA (UPDATE) - Independent research group OCTA on Sunday identified some southern cities as "areas of concern" following a rise in COVID-19 cases.
These include Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga City, and Bacolod, said OCTA Research fellow Guido David.
"Based on history, nakikita natin na itong smaller LGUs (local government units), mas mabilis nila nako-control ang situation. 'Di pa naman necessarily alarming ito," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(Based on history, we can see these smaller LGUs can control the situation faster. It's not necessarily alarming yet.)
Daily virus cases in the capital region has declined to an average of 2,100 from a peak of 5,500, David said.
Metro Manila has a virus reproduction rate of 0.67, and a weekly growth rate of -27 percent, he added.
"We anticipate by next week, by May 14, baka less than 2,000 cases na yan (it might be less than 2,000 cases)," he said.
David again called for a gradual easing of quarantine restrictions in the NCR Plus bubble.
"Maganda, habang nagde-deploy tayo ng vaccines, i-maintain natin ang trend na mababa ang cases para di tayo magkaroon ng surge," he said.
(It's good to maintain the trend of low number of cases as we vaccinated people, so we don't experience a surge.)
The Department of Health earlier said the lower number of fresh COVID-19 cases being reported in recent weeks can be attributed to the fewer number of samples being received by accredited laboratories for testing.
Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal were placed under enhanced community quarantine from March 29 until April 11, and then under modified ECQ from April 12 until May 14.
The Philippines on Saturday tallied 6,979 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its total to 1,094,849, of which 63,376 were active infections.